Hope and Anticipation
By Angelle Reeves
My girls were 5 years and 6 months old when Katrina hit. They do not remember being stuck inside with all of our freedoms stripped away. No TV, horrible cell service on our flip phones or blackberries and hot, humid no air-conditioned homes that we all gathered in because they were spared by the flood waters. It was a time of fear and confusion because one day we were living our normal lives, and the next, it was all ripped away. Months went on, with limited resources and communication with friends, family and community.
One beautiful day, after much time had passed, we found out that the first store had opened to the public. We were living with my brother and sister-in-law at the time. My sister-in-law and I were ecstatic that we would actually be able to go out and shop. We got dressed in something other than comfort clothes and took my girls to K-Mart. We looked like we were walking in to a grand opening of Bergdorf Goodman in New York. K-mart never felt so good. We were walking slowly through each aisle and throwing things in the basket as if we had won the lottery. It gave us hope and excitement that we had been craving for weeks and desperately needed. It was the little things that made us feel like we could soldier on. It gave us a sense that we would be back and better than ever. Shorty after that, the first restaurant opened and life as we knew it was back- and we cheered, ate, drank and rejoiced. We were dramatic with tears in our eyes as we were allowed to gather together with strangers sitting next to us. We all nodded to one another with gratitude that we were out, eating and seeing one another again.
What we are currently going through is very different because it impacts the entire world and not just one state, but what is the same is the fear of feeling cutoff from one another. We take for granted how important it is for our souls to see, hug and have conversations with strangers, family and friends on a daily basis. What will be the same will be the hope and anticipation we will feel the moment we can go back to some sort of socializing. We will walk into movie theaters once again, and cheer as a group of complete strangers see the movie about to start; we will smile at strangers eating next to us and be thankful to see children and babies disrupting our meals just like old times. We will hold onto compassion and kindness for one another. We will never forget and it will make us better people in the long run. It will humble us as a whole. We will talk to one another, referencing the ‘before and after’ this event. In and around the New Orleans area, we reference most stories as ‘before and after’ Katrina. The entire world will be telling their stories as ‘before and after’ Covid19/Coronavirus.
I work for a beautiful, historic theatre and the first time we are able to go back to work, and open the doors to the public, I will have on waterproof mascara because I will join others as we shed tears of joy that we are allowed to enjoy live theatre together, and greet each other with hugs and kisses in the lobby.
I am blessed to work in the arts and live theatre world. I have never been so proud of what that stands for. We will bring the community together to share in laughter, beauty and fun as a group. I look forward to filling 830 seats, because we can, and will be allowed to be close again. Let us hold on to the hope and anticipation that we will be together again with love, compassion and eagerness to be entertained and inspired. I love the Columbia Theatre, and the Columbia Family, and I can’t wait to be back.
#Iamthecolumbia #wearethecolumbia #bettertogether #livetheatrerocks #youcan’tstreamthis